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As the American Dream slips away
Thursday, March 7, 2013
As the American people recover from the greatest financial disaster in world history, it’s important for each of us to search for the answers to the questions we all seem to be asking ourselves. Questions like: How’d this happen? Who’s responsible? Where’d my job go? Who stole my life savings? Are the Democratic and Republican parties trying to evade their own responsibility?
Answers to these questions and more make it very clear that an inordinate amount of hypocrisy is being spewed from both sides of the political aisle. The following chronology of historically accurate events is offered so the American people can see through the muddled mess the politicians have created.
Political hypocrisy is running rampant in America, and it’s time to clear the air.
On Oct. 29, 1929, Black Tuesday, the stock market crashed. It mustered 10 years of the worst financial slump America had ever known. Unemployment rose to 25 percent, farm prices plummeted 60 percent. Bread lines, soup kitchens, heartache and financial terror flourished. We all know the horror stories as represented by Hollywood movies. For those of us lucky enough to be born later, it was close enough.
In 1932, Democratic Sen. Carter Glass of Lynchburg and Democratic Rep. Henry B. Steagall of Alabama sponsored the Glass-Steagall Act. GS was designed to stop deflation, expand the powers of the Federal Reserve and regulate bad-acting banks. But the law didn’t go far enough, and in 1933, following the near collapse of the America commercial banking system, a second GS bill was rushed through Congress, the Bank Act of 1933, which served us well for the next 66 years.
But even as the GS acts worked to correct the imbalances within the banking system, “naked short sellers” and “insiders” on Wall Street were exacerbating the Great Depression as they continued to plunder the stock market for personal gain. This, too, had to be corrected for America to survive.
In 1938, the Securities and Exchange Commission enacted SEC rule 10a-1, known on Wall Street as the “uptick rule,” thwarting Wall Street bad actors while forging a path of stock market prosperity for 69 years.
On Nov. 22, 1999, the Gramm-Leach-Blilely Act, sponsored by Republican Sen. Phil Gramm of Texas, Republican Rep. James Leach of Iowa and Republican Rep. Thomas Bliley of Virginia, was signed into law by Democratic President Bill Clinton. The GLB Act repealed the GS acts, resulting in the deregulation of the American banking system. That deregulation made it possible for Wall Street firms to become “too big to fail,” and in the process almost destroyed the world banking system.
Keep in mind, President Obama wasn’t in the White House in 1999 and neither sponsored nor voted for GLB. Republicans pointing their fingers at Obama should look in a mirror at their own reflection, if they have one.
On July 6, 2007, SEC rule 10a-1 was canceled by Republican Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Chris Cox, unleashing a new wave of Wall Street “short sellers” who collectively drove stock prices into the ground. Working in concert with GLB, this set in motion a recipe for financial disaster nearly destroying the American Dream. Millions of lost jobs, tens of thousands of lost homes and trillions of dollars in IRA life savings evaporated, as these Wall Street bad actors received an $800 billion bailout known as the Troubled Asset Relief Program. When asked by Larry Kudlow of CNBC why he canceled 10a-1, Cox replied, “It was an experiment.” A failed experiment at the expense of the American people.
Unfair free trade agreements, lost jobs, depleted IRAs, the Wall Street bailout, the rising federal deficit, the devaluation of the U.S. dollar, dysfunctional Congress, wars of choice and some 8,000 dead, brave American soldiers. There’s enough blame to go around.
We the people should pray that the Obama administration and Congress can find a working solution for the aforementioned problems before the American Dream is lost forever. Thomas Jefferson and John Adams must be spinning in their graves.
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